21st Century Marketing: How The Kovacs Connection Sets Your Home Apart to Sell

It can by mind-bending to think about how quickly technology is changing the way we live. When we pull out an iPhone, we may assume they have been around forever, but actually, Apple released ads touting the iPhone in June of 2007. That’s only been 10 ½ years!

And Facebook? It was launched 14 years ago by Mark Zuckerberg, along with his fellow Harvard College students and roommates. Now Facebook has 2.2 billion monthly active users and the company has assets of $84.5 billion US$.

Speaking of Facebook, it bought Instagram in 2012. Instagram, with its videos, direct messaging and advertising now has more than 400 million users.

Suffice it to say that technology has completely changed the way we interact with the world, and that includes how potential homebuyers want to interact with seeing properties on the market. At The Kovacs Connection, we love showing houses to potential buyers, but we back that up with a strong arsenal of new technology that can help you get your home noticed quickly. We market your home with the newest and most effective forms of digital marketing to reach buyers where they want to be reached: 24/7, with detailed information and images at their fingertips, in order to get you the sale you want!

First Things First: Set Your Home Apart From the Rest

The Kovacs Connection provides exceptional home staging, where we:

  • Restyle and organize
  • Provide interior design
  • Create a comfortable, livable space

Let’s Fly Away

We use drone videography to showcase your home in location to your neighborhood. This is particularly important for out-of-town buyers who want to see where they will be in relation to the rest of the neighborhood, and their new community. It gives a bigger picture to the potential homebuyer and we find it invaluable.

I’m Ready for My Closeup

We also work with fantastic photographers who specialize in real estate photography. They provide customer high quality photos of the different areas of your home, allowing potential homebuyers to visualize themselves in the space, and create interest about seeing the property in person.

The Third Dimension

At The Kovacs Connection, our team works to create 3D tours of your home, which is the latest in real estate marketing technology. Now, a potential buyer out of town, or who is too busy to spend days looking at properties can get a sense of your home by just utilizing a few clicks on the computer. We have found that can create an immediate emotional connection that can put your property on the top of their “Must See” list.

Let’s Be Social

Remember our discussion about social media? We utilize the latest social media marketing techniques to make sure we expose your property to a new audience. That way, we can target custom audiences who are most likely to buy your home!

We love assisting our clients and friends as they work to sell their properties in Orange County. Contact us and allow our team to serve you when you are ready to sell!

How to Negotiate the Best Price For Your New Orange County Home

So here’s a question: when you want to buy something, do you:
Settle for the price with no questions asked?
Cave in when you ask for a deal and it is rejected?
Stubbornly hold on to every last cent so you can say you won?

If you see yourself in one of these categories, you might want to read some tips on how to negotiate a deal in the hot SoCal real estate market. Right now it is definitely a seller’s market, but you don’t have to be taken to the cleaners. You have to work smart, knowing when to start negotiating, and more importantly, when to stop.

Right now there is a shortage of inventory in the Orange County area, so that means you need to get your financial house in order, and know what you can and want to pay for a property in order to move quickly on it. For example, a home in Orange County that is under, say $750K may be off the market within a day or two.

So do you need a real estate agent? Think about this. Your home will likely be the most expensive purchase you will ever make. You only make that decision a few times in your life. Why would you think you should do it alone, rather than get the advice of a professional who works with buyers and sellers every day? At The Kovacs Connection, we have a team of experienced agents with an in-depth knowledge of the market, and we have negotiated many, many deals, and know what it takes to get you from “I want it!” to “Sold!”

Some home buying tips to consider with your agent:
Do the Math
Figure out how much house you can afford. That means getting your mortgage value pre-approved. A pre-approved buyer is a lot more attractive to a seller because they realize there should be no glitches once both sides agree to a price.
Don’t Be a Donkey
You know who you are…people who will get hung up on a few thousand dollars. Interest rates are low, so a $5000 difference in price over the life of a mortgage can be peanuts when you and your agent pull out the calculator. If you won’t budge, you can lose the house in this market. If your Significant Other has his/her heart set on the house….hmm…might want to be a bit more flexible with your offer.
Be Realistic
You need to put in an offer based on the value of the home. This is where an experienced real estate team is invaluable to you. They know the area, and the comparables, and what prices like-sized homes in that neighborhood are bringing. Say you see a home in a neighborhood you really like, and your realtor tells you it is below market value. Chances are high that the price won’t be going down.
Quick on the Draw
In a seller’s market, a low-ball offer can be rejected quickly. If you fall in love with a property, then give the seller a good, respectable offer. A good offer from a pre-qualified buyer can go a long way with a seller to give you the nod.

Ask Some Questions
Why is the seller moving? Maybe the seller has relocated with a new job out of state and wants to sell quickly at a decent price. Maybe the seller is going through a divorce and wants a quick sell to get legal matters tied up. Is the property in foreclosure? How long has it been on the market? Or maybe the seller doesn’t have another residence lined up, and is waiting for the right price for the property. Having this information from your realtor can assist you in tailoring your offer.
Let It Go, Let It Go
Nothing is perfect. You won’t find the perfect house in the perfect neighborhood at the perfect price at the perfect time. The wisdom is in knowing where you need to compromise. Is the house in a neighborhood you love, but is outdated? Ok, some sweat equity can fix outdated countertops, appliances and carpeting.
Bottom Line
This will likely be the most important purchase of your life, so join with the professionals at The Kovacs Connection to get the house of your dreams at the best price!

Top Performing Schools in Mission Viejo

Location, location, location. We typically think of that in terms of where to place a business for maximum visibility and exposure to traffic. But it also means that buying a home in the right location can give your children a wonderful public education. There are 78 schools located in the Mission Viejo area, and they enjoy high educational rankings in the state of California. At the Kovacs Connection, we know as potential homeowners, you are interested in how the schools rank, so we thought we’d give you the latest stats for schools in Mission Viejo.

Here is the list of the Great Schools Rankings for individual schools in Mission Viejo.

Good schools start with great teachers, and teachers want to work here. For example, in just 3 days, the Capistrano Unified School District had 278 applicants for teaching positions. Below are a few comments from parents from an elementary school, an intermediate school, and high school. These are representative of all the schools in the Mission Viejo area, but will give you an idea of the quality of instruction and the parents’ feelings about their child’s education here.

Parents’ Reviews for De Portola Elementary School

“We’ve been through three excellent principals during our time with De Portola. Each principal brought a unique perspective and personality to the school, and I feel that my students have thrived with each change. Have there been bumps in the road, yes – but when we personally encountered one, the principal at the time took his time to work with us to find solutions and made sure that we were all a team working for the best solution for our student. We couldn’t have asked for a better response.”

“My daughter transferred to this school in the beginning of 3rd grade, too late to be tested for GATE for that year. She thrived in GATE during her 4th grade year earning top honors throughout the year. Transferring from Anneliese Academy, a small private school, to de Portola was the best decision we’ve made for her education and sociological development. I’m proud to have my daughter at de Portola and I’m grateful for the opportunities she’s been given.”

“De Portola fosters both strong academics and a great community environment for the students. There is great parent involvement to pull off a number of fun events throughout the year…”

Parents’ Reviews for La Paz Intermediate School

“It has been amazing! I was really concerned with my son going to middle school but this has been so organized that my son has done very well there, and he has made good friends.”

“My 8th grader has really soared at this school. He went from average grades to all A’s and a few B’s. It is obvious how much the teachers enjoy teaching by their enthusiasm and my own student’s development. The parent involvement is pretty great. Those parents who are involved put in 100% and put together: International Day, 7th grade Renaissance Fair, Zombie Fundraiser, etc.”

Parents’ Reviews for Capistrano Valley High School

“I love this school! My boys have had a great High School experience and I couldn’t be happier. The staff is always very helpful, our principal has an open door policy and genuinely cares for our students, and we have had great experiences with the teachers that my boys have had.”

“CVHS is really an amazing school that is a source of pride here in Mission Viejo. The biggest gem is the guidance department. My son’s academic advisor did everything should could to take care of my son and he will be attending UC Berkeley next year after a great educational experience in the AP Program at this school.”

“I am a parent of a Freshman at Capo and am thrilled my daughter is attending this school! The academics are challenging, the teachers are motivated to teach, and the Principal takes an active interest in the students. I’ve also received wonderful support form the Guidance department.”

We know that if you have children, or are planning to start a family, that the school district is a huge determination in where you buy. Our Kovacs Connection Team are experts in knowing the best schools in Mission Viejo and can pinpoint you in the right direction, so call us today!

Top 7 Valentines Day Ideas in Orange County

Love is in the air, and what better way to celebrate the month of love than with your special someone! Orange County is the perfect place to spend a romantic getaway from dreamy gondola rides to enchanting picnics with a view. We’ve listed a few incredible events and ideas we know you and your special someone will love for Valentines Day and any day!

Valentine Hike+Picnic with a View
1000 Steps Beach
31972 Coast Hwy
Laguna Beach, CA 92651

Orange County is known for its splendid views and nature strolls. Start off your day with an easy hike to A Thousand Steps Beach, and enjoy a romantic picnic with your significant other. Scope out the beach and discover tide pools and secret caves.

Facade Fun House
The Lab Anti-Mall
2930 Bristol street
Costa mesa, CA 92627

Have some fun at Facade Fun House in The Lab, Costa Mesa. You and your special someone will adore this interactive exhibition where you can take hundreds of photos and post it all over social media.

Liven up with some Cuban Flare
708 Spectrum Center Drive Irvine, CA 92618

If you love authentic Cuban food and Cuban flare, enjoy a lively and romantic meal at the Habana. It is known for their romantic atmosphere with candle-lit ambiance and delicious culinary creations.

Escape Rooms in Orange County
4245 E La Palma Ave
Anaheim, CA 92807

Have a group date and be entertained rummaging your way through these escape games. Rated #1 best escape room in Orange County and Los Angeles, Cross Roads Escape Games is known for its clever and unusual themes, which your team will no doubt love.

Wine Tasting
26755 Verdugo St
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675

Time to unwind and taste some delicious wine in Orange County’s largest winery. Stocked with over 50 different offerings, you and your special someone will lose track of time delighting yourselves in the abundance of wine. Feeling a little hungry after? You’re in luck! Rancho Capistrano Winery is also home to delicious creations from Chef Adrian de La Torre. It’s no wonder this winery was named “Best Overall Restaurant” in San Juan Capistrano.

Romantic Gondola Ride
3101 West Coast Hwy #110
Newport Beach, CA 92663

Relax and make a romantic gesture by taking your significant other on a gondola ride. Create memories and float swiftly through canals and watch the beautiful horizon as the sun sets.

Valentine’s Day Garden Dinner
Farmhouse at Roger’s Garden
2301 San Joaquin Hills Rd
Unit #5
Corona Del Mar, CA 92625

Indulge in this romantic getaway restaurant, nestled on over 7 acres of land in the heart of Newport Beach. You and your special someone will love the ambiance and fresh cuisine picked right out of the garden.

Orange County is not only the perfect Valentine’s Day destination, but an even better place to live! Contact The Kovacs Connection Team to learn more.

8 New Year’s Resolutions to Make in Mission Viejo

You know the feeling: the morning of January 1st, and you want to start fresh. New Year’s resolutions can be wiping away what you didn’t like about 2017, and starting fresh. But what resolutions make sense?

Let’s Start Moving More

There are so many step trackers and pedometers on the market now that it just makes sense to try and hit 10,000 steps a day. Walking, and moving more increases your heart rate, lowers your blood pressure and risk of several types of cancer. Plus, it just makes you happier, with those endorphins floating around. So make the choice to strap on the pedometer of your choice and get moving!

Let’s Learn Something Today

Keeping your brain active and engaged is just as important as the number of steps you take; maybe more so. It is important to stretch your mind as well as your muscles. Don’t go to the same 3 or 4 websites you read every day; expand your horizons. TED talks can be a great way to expose your brain to new ideas. You can find them on YouTube and just find one talk a day (none of them area very long) that interests you.

Let’s Meditate or Pray

Did you know that praying and meditating lowers your blood pressure, lessens anxiety and improves your mood? Getting quiet and intentional about meditation and prayer can get you better ready for the day.

It’s Play Time!

We can get so wrapped up in our day-to-day lives that we forget how to play. Find a 4 year-old and they can show you! Allow yourself the option to kick back and play like there’s nobody watching!

Take Time for Thanks

Stop. Really stop, and think about your life, and the blessings you enjoy. We spend so much time thinking about what we don’t have, or what we should have, or what we could have had, that we don’t appreciate what we have right in front of us. People who make a conscious effort to be grateful are better able to overcome adversity, and they sleep better, too. Plus, they have happier relationships with other people. Guess why? The other people know they are appreciated, which makes them happier to be around… you! Win, win.

Time to Let Procrastination Go

Yes, if you are a procrastinator, you won’t like this very much. But it’s still true. Decide that in 2018 procrastination is not your friend. Oftentimes, the best thing to do is to do what you are dreading the most first. You get it out of the way, and everything else is easy. Try it once and see if you agree.

Bucket List Time

There is nothing like travel to hit the ‘reset’ button on your life. We can get so involved in our own worlds that we fail to see the greater world around us. Travel allows us the opportunity to meet people from a wide variety of cultures and backgrounds, and can open our eyes to new sights and perspectives.
Nature’s Cool: Chill Out

In general, we spend far too much time in front of our TV’s, our computers, and our smart phones. We spend very little time hanging out in nature. It is amazing how gratifying and happy it can make you to observe nature. See what happens when a pair of cardinals build a nest close to your back door, or when wrens decide to lay some eggs in a hanging pot. Nature is astoundingly beautiful and interesting. Don’t miss it!

So you have your New Year’s resolutions figured out: how do you want to spend the last day of 2017? Ring in the new year with these magnificent events around Orange County!
New Year’s Eve Ideas

New Year’s Eve Yacht Party— Newport Harbor

You can ring in the new year aboard the 130-foot yacht The Ambassador. The floating party includes champagne, appetizers and a dance floor.

Disneyland will be the scene for parades, shows and fireworks at Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure. The fireworks shows will be held at 9:30pm and 11:59pm.

There will be a Senior’s New Year’s Eve Dinner and Dance at Dana Point. The fun will be held at the Dana Point Community center on Del Obispo Street.

Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park will celebrate the new year with shows, parties and fireworks on December 31st.

New Year’s Eve Gala Dinner Cruise — Newport Beach

Hornblower Cruises is hosting a dinner cruise which will board at 8:30pm at Hornblower South.

At The Kovacs Connection, we love connecting with you to find the perfect home! Let our team of professionals assist you in finding your perfect spot for the new year!

Seller’s Market: Ways to Sell Your Home For Top Dollar

Shoot Me On My Best Side

You’ve heard it said, ‘You never get a second chance to make a good first impression.’ That’s why if you are selling your home during the winter months, it helps if you have photos of your home at its best. Have you taken any pictures of your home when the flowers are blooming and the grass is green? If so, be sure your trusted real estate agent has seen them, in order to incorporate them into the marketing of your property.

As to photos of your interior, be sure they don’t have holiday decorations in them, as they will have a longer marketing shelf life come mid-January.

Clutter Be Gone!

You’ve got to get rid of the unnecessary stuff! You’ll have to do it when you move anyway, so why wait? Getting rid of clutter can help potential buyers see the real space available in your home. Don’t skip this step once you have decided to sell. Some people hire home stagers to declutter, and get your furniture in the exactly the right spot to showcase the ‘bones’ of your home. Your potential buyers need to envision themselves in the space, and your darling family photos need to be tucked away for now. Our experienced team of real estate experts can help you figure out what needs to go, or be stored, in order to show your home at its best.
Now Where’s My Paintbrush?

Once the clutter is gone, your real estate agent can help you assess what needs to be fixed before putting your property on the market. Is there chipping paint? Cabinet doors that don’t close well? Stained carpet? All of these, and other things, underscore a home that is not well-cared for. So do your bank account a favor, and invest in a little elbow grease time and handyman time to give you a better outcome at closing time!

Selling Your Home When The Price is Right

One of the biggest mistakes home sellers make is pricing their home too high for the market. If it is out-of-bounds with the comparable home prices in the area, buyers will pass it up, meaning your home sits more days on the market. More days on the market mean less interest in the property, or low ball offers when they think you may be desperate. That’s why our team at The Kovacs Connection takes all the variables into consideration when discussing the price of your home. You want a good, fair price for your home, and we can help you get it!

Don’t Forget Curb Appeal in the Winter

If you’ve taken pictures of your home during the most beautiful times of the year, that’s great, and will be a bonus to people checking out the agency’s website listings. But don’t forget about curb appeal. If a buyer is interested in your home, he or she may drive past it soon. So be sure your property looks well taken care of. Shrubs need to be trimmed, any weeds pulled, if there are hearty flowering plants like pansies or ornamental kale to plant, they can bring a freshness and color to your entryway.

Illumination Can Be a Deal Maker

Remember, most people coming to see your home will see it after work, which in the winter time means coming at dusk or after dark. If your home’s exterior is dark it will be a ‘turn off’ for the potential buyer. Make sure your exterior lighting is inviting, and illuminates the walkways to make it easy for your buyers to approach the property ‘in its best light.’ You can buy solar-powered lights that you can strategically place next to the steps up to your home that is a luminescent ‘welcome mat’ to your property.

Go Get Some Coffee

Finally, your real estate team at The Kovacs Connection have honed their skills to showcase your property at its best. There is a tendency for some home sellers to stick around during showings. Don’t. It makes the potential buyer uncomfortable, as if they are interrupting you at home, and it can steer them away from giving your home the attention it deserves. So enjoy that cup of coffee and wait to hear what the potential buyers have to say!

Why Walking and Jogging in Orange County Make You Live Longer

Okay, so are you a walker… or a jogger? Generally speaking, you’ll fall into one category or the other. Both walking and jogging offer enormous health benefits. It is one of the most economical ways to stay fit, with just investing in the cost of a good pair of shoes. Depending on your intensity, you can enjoy a runner’s high, increased metabolism, increased stamina, or the emotional and psychological benefits that come from walking in nature and having time to reflect. Everyone is different, and occasionally someone is a runner and a walker. Either way, it will make you live longer.

Did you realize how many ways lacing up your shoes can help your health? The American Heart Association says walking will cut your risk of breast cancer, colon cancer, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and osteoporosis. Now that’s a good deal. If you walk every day you will burn calories and improve your muscle strength. Your heart will thank you, too. Plus, the stronger you are, the more able you are to ward off the cold and flu, which will keep you healthier. You may have heard of endorphins: walking and jogging release these naturally-occurring chemicals inside the body, which keeps us energized and in a very good mood!

Hip flexors. Joint ligaments. Hamstrings. Abs. Calves. Glutes. Heart. Pretty much everything from your neck to your knees benefits from jogging and brisk walking. We’ve talked about the physical benefits, but those endorphins are important, adding benefits like improved mental health, physical self-perception and esteem.

Jogging and Weight Loss

According to the New York Times, runners lose more abdominal fat than walkers. But for some people, due to joint replacement or other physical barriers, walking is their only option, and it is a good one. It will reduce your risk of heart disease, is inexpensive, and you can walk pretty much anywhere.

Watch Your Form

Whether walking or jogging, be sure to check your form. It’s always best to gently stretch your calf muscles and hamstrings before heading out. Then make sure your posture is good, and pull in your abdominal muscles to increase your core strength. Have you ever used a pedometer? It’s good to aim for 10,000 steps every day, and step tracking devices can really be a wake-up call if you are being too much of a desk jockey and not hitting the pavement enough.

Where to Walk in Orange County

Okay, so you’re ready to hit the trail, but want a few new ideas of places to go to get in those 10,000 steps. Here are a ideas for walking trails in SoCal.

Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park

This park is home to 30 miles of trails, and 4500 acres of pure beauty. Many endangered plants and animals enjoy the area as a sanctuary.

Top of the World

On a clear day, you can see forever from Top of the World at Alta Laguna Park. From Catalina Island to the Palos Verdes Peninsula, this park has it all, with great hiking and jogging trails to kids’ parks, tennis and basketball courts, and fields for baseball or soccer.

Balboa Island Loop

Humphrey Bogart, John Wayne, Mae West, James Cagney and Shirley Temple. They have all owned yachts around Balboa Island, and it is a great place for walkers and joggers alike. Take the ferry to the island and get your steps in! There are tons of paved walking paths around Balboa Island, and you can click off the steps and enjoy the scenery.

At The Kovacs Connection, we love showing you the amazing properties in Orange County that you can call home. Give us a call to check them out, and in the meantime, we’ll see you out on a hike!

Wrapping Up: Creative Gift Wrapping Ideas for Under the Tree and Selling Your Home

There seem to be two kinds of people when it comes to holiday gift wrapping: the last-minute, just throw it in a bag kind of people, and the givers who painstakingly wrap each gift, spending more time (and often more money) on the wrapping than the gift itself. We want to find that wonderful middle ground, where the gifts you give look fabulous, but you’re not spending all day on that one wrapping job for the latest New York Times Best Seller for your friend. Then, we have a few tips to help you gift wrap your home to sell during the holidays.

Pure Dead Brilliant

Use a design in various ways to create some interest. Like the Scottish saying “pure dead brilliant,’ Scottish tartan plaids in various designs but in the same color palette of red, green and gold can create a very winter, festive air.

The Natural Look

Take inexpensive brown craft paper and get creative with it. Use it to wrap your gifts. Then pull it all together with a decorative ribbon and some fresh herbs, or a sprig of berries from the craft store.

Is that East or West?

Take some old maps that are gathering dust in your car or home office, and use them to wrap your gifts. Instead of a bow, you could use a thin cord and a vintage button to give it another nod to nostalgia.

The Creative World is Your Oyster

We mentioned brown craft paper. White butcher paper is a great canvas for any wrapping idea. Once the gift is wrapped, you can use stamps or draw personal notes on the gift to make it uniquely yours. If the gift is going to Grandma, then the outline of a grandchild’s hand will mean that wrapping paper won’t be thrown away anytime soon!

Play it Again, Sam

Do you have any old sheet music lying around? If you know you aren’t going to use it while sitting at the piano, use it as wrapping paper. It already looks upscale, and you can complete the look with a silky bow and silver bells. Because you know, ‘it’s Christmas time in the city.’ You’ll have that song stuck in your head all day. You’re welcome.

From “For Sale” to “Sold!”

The holiday season is often considered the worst time to list a home, but in reality, it does have advantages. Thinking about selling your home? Consider this: potential homebuyers this time of year are serious, and there are typically fewer homes on the market, so if you get a nibble, it’s a good one. A few tips:

  • Decorate, but this year, less is more. Don’t overdo it: it can be distracting to buyers.
  • Hire a reliable real estate agent, with a team that will work with you during the holidays.
  • Make sure the price is right. Your realtor can give you a reliable comparative analysis to make your home attractive to motivated buyers.
  • Make sure it’s sitting pretty. Curb appeal is important all year-round, but particularly in the winter months.
  • Create a video tour. The holiday season is busy for everyone, so make it easy on potential buyers by working with your real estate agent to create a video tour of your property that they can see when the time is convenient for them.

Call the Kovacs Connection Team to help you gift wrap your home to sell!

5 Ways to Pull a Quick Cocktail Party Together in Rancho Santa Margarita

So it’s Friday afternoon, and you’re more than done with a very long week. Your spouse calls and informs you that some people are coming over… in an hour. To him, it’s no big deal, but to you, it means hosting a cocktail party, and the blood pressure is rising. It happens a lot during the holidays, so how can you look all cool and collected on a moment’s notice? Here are a few ideas for you.

The Best Plan is Not to Plan at All

Your guests take their emotional cues from you when they walk in your door, so chill out. I know, it is easier said than done, but if they feel you are stressed and put out, they will feel uncomfortable. Put some great music on, light a candle or two, and breathe deeply. You will have a great time this evening. Promise.

The Cocktails

If you are throwing a cocktail party together at the last minute, a couple of things to keep in mind: the KISS principle. Keep It Simple Sweetie. There are a couple of ways to approach it. Have a few bottles of a good red and a good white ready. Get a few beers iced down. Have one ‘signature’ cocktail available. This time of year, something like a pomegranate martini would be festive. But don’t try to have everything anyone could ever want. If appropriate, text or call the invitees to let them know what you have, and if they’d like something different, to bring it with them. Win. Win.

The Glassware

Just put those red solo cups away, please. Yes, I mean it. Now is the time to pull out the stemware. Don’t worry if it doesn’t match: it can actually be better if it doesn’t. That way, it’s easier for your guests to find their glass when they’ve walked away from the table to join another conversation! Pull out a variety of glassware, from various wine glasses to highball glasses to shot glasses.

The Napkins

If you have time to run to the store, look for some funny cocktail napkins. There are a lot of creative options out there. One of our favorites is: “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas, but if the White Runs Out I’ll Drink the Red.” It is often the small details like these that people remember from an impromptu gathering, so feel free to show your personality!
The Snacks

Again, this is a relatively last-minute cocktail party. It is not a 3-course gourmet meal, so don’t stress about it. What do you have in your pantry and refrigerator that work? The best way to start is to pull out a wooden cutting board. Then pull out olives, cheeses, crackers, fruit and nuts. You want to arrange it artfully, but when it’s last minute, that means artfully messy! It’s best to have a variety of cheeses on the board, like 3, arranged in a triangle. Then fill it in with grapes, maybe a ramekin filled with nuts, a stack of green and black olives. You will want to have a couple of cheese knives available by the board. You will look like a contestant on the Food Network’s Chopped but it was actually pretty light culinary lifting.

Yeah But What About the Queso or Pizza Rolls?

Resist the urge. If you are feeding a hungry crowd for a football game, then yeah, go for it. But for an impromptu cocktail party, keep it simple and classy. Plus, your home will smell better from a scented candle than a pizza roll! Speaking of homes, we have some fabulous properties to show you at The Kovacs Connection. Let our team of real estate professionals find you the perfect place to have that impromptu party… and yes, you will forgive your spouse for springing it on you with no notice… whatsoever!

6 Things You Didn’t Know About Living in Coto de Caza

Our zip code is 92679. Welcome to Coto de Caza. We love this area and would love to invite you in as a new neighbor. If you are not familiar with the area, we thought we’d give you a few little known facts to set the stage for this magnificent part of Orange County!

  1. Coto de Caza is known as a CDP (a Census Designated Place) and is a gated, guarded suburban planned community of around 4000 homes. As of the last census taken in 2010, almost 15 thousand people call it home. It is one of Orange County’s oldest and most expensive planned communities. The name Coto de Caza means ‘hunting preserve’ in Spanish. In 1968, the area was envisioned as a hunting lodge. That vision came true, now known as the Lodge at Coto de Caza. The community also includes Los Ranchos Estates, a rural community of more than 350 acres that features large custom-built homes.
  2. While it started as a hunting preserve, it has evolved into an exclusive community. The hub of the community is the Coto de Caza Golf & Racquet Club which opened in 1991. Four years later, another golf course to the south opened, giving residents a picture perfect spot to enjoy a round of 9 or 18. Still, in 2017, the country club remains the social hub for Coto, with residents meeting there to work out or grab a cocktail.
  3. Coto de Caza is surrounded by the Thomas F. Riley Wilderness Park. The park wraps it’s green belt around the neighborhood on the east, north and south. The park is both a treasure and a sanctuary: it is known for its diverse plant and wildlife. Huge oak groves, sycamore trees and several creeks wind throughout the park. The 500-acre park also boasts of 6 miles of equestrian, hiking and biking trails. A few things have been added in the last few years, including the main country club’s Spa and Sports Club, a polo arena and a dog park known as the Canine Corrals.
  4. Speaking of outdoor activities, Coto de Caza hosted a portion of the 1984 Summer Olympics. The community hosted riding, running, shooting and fencing portions of the Pentathlon Olympic events. Princess Anne of England was here to support an athlete, Richard Phelps, who finished 4th at the event. Via Masala is near Coto’s equestrian center, and it was named of the the event’s gold medal winner, Italy’s Daniele Masala.
  5. As you drive around this beautiful, gated community, some areas might look familiar. The Bravo reality TV show The Real Housewives of Orange County is filmed here. Still, Coto de Caza remains a secluded and quiet community. Residents love keeping up the annual traditions, including its Easter EGGstravaganza and the big parade on the 4th of July.
  6. We mentioned our zip code. Homes in 92679 are much sought-after, and we’d love to assist you as we look for the home of your dreams. Homes on the market here in Coto de Caza move quickly, with the median selling price north of $850,000.

So if you are wanting to call this exclusive, gated planned community home, contact our team at The Kovacs Connection!